In recent years, castable fishfinders have become popular choices among angulars, from beginners to enthusiasts alike. Factors driving this popularity include ease of use, compactness and they are generally cheaper than a traditional fishfinder or chartplotters. Castable fishfinders are among the cheapest fishfinders you will find on the market. They are also very easy to setup and use, and as well as are easy to carry along. You only need to install an app on your phone, pair it with the sonar and you will be able to see fish and other objects in the water right on your phone. So, recently, I have been looking for the best castable fishfinders, and I did find a handful of very good ones from different brands and in this guide, you will learn the very best castable fishfinders on the market.
What is a Castable Fishfinder and How Does it Work?
A castable fishfinder is a type of sonar that turns your phone into a fishfinder. It is a type of sonar that can be trolled or cast out, while it streams data of what’s under the water right on your phone. That’s to say, unlike a regular fishfinder where the transducer and a display are connected through cables, a castable fishfinder streams data to your phone wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The concept behind how a castable fishfinder works is a very simple one. It involves an app installed on your phone working together with sonar on the water. The app installed on your phone lets you pair with the sonar via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi so that you can see images of whatever is underwater right on your phone.
You can choose to troll or cast out a castable fishfinder, and from our reviews, many of these have over 100ft castable range as well as scanning depth spanning over 100ft. Moreover, the castable fishfinders in this review don’t need internet connectivity to stream data to your phone. You will still see what’s in the water irrespective of whether you are connected to the internet or not.
Best Castable Fishfinders – Our Top Choices
Deeper Smart Sonar CHIRP 2 - Specs and Features
Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ 2 - Specs and Features
Garmin Striker Cast GPS Fishfinder - Specs and Features
|ABOUT DEVICE||ABOUT DEVICE||ABOUT DEVICE||ABOUT DEVICE|
|Device Name||Deeper Smart Sonar CHIRP 2||Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ 2||Garmin Striker Cast GPS|
|Device Type||Castable Fishfinder||Castable Fishfinder||Castable Fishfinder|
|Date Released||May, 2021||September, 2021||October, 2020|
|Dimension||_||_||75.8 x 75.5 x 57.87 mm|
|Fishfinder Mounting Style||Casting, Trolling||Casting, Trolling motor||Trolling|
|Display Type||via phone||via phone||via phone|
|Display Size||via phone||via phone||via phone|
|Input||via phone||via phone||via phone|
|SONAR FREQUENCY||SONAR FREQUENCY||SONAR FREQUENCY||SONAR FREQUENCY|
|Beam Frequency(s)||100kHz, 240kHz, 675kHz||100kHz, 240kHz, 675kHz||260kHz, 455kHz|
|Beamscope||20° (240kHz), 47° (100kHz), 7° (675kHz)||20° (240kHz), 47° (100kHz), 7° (675kHz)||22° x 63° (260kHz), 9° x 14° (455kHz)|
|Transducer Mount Style||Casting, Trolling motor||Casting, Trolling motor||Casting, Trolling motor|
|Transducer Ping Power||__||__||__|
|Battery Life||Up to 15hrs||Up to 9hrs||Up to 10hrs|
|Charging Mode||USB charger||USB charger||USB charger|
|Map||Bathymetric map||Bathymetric map||Quickdraw Contour mapping|
|Show Boat Speed||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Show Water Depth||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Recommended for||Freshwater, Saltwater||Freshwater, Saltwater||Freshwater, Ice Fishing, Saltwater|
Best Castable Fishfinders 2022 Review
1. Deeper CHIRP 2 – Best Castable Fishfinder 2022
Perhaps one of the best fishfinders you will find, the CHIRP 2 from Deeper is one of the very few castable fishfinders that offers CHIRP. It’s the most advanced fishfinder in the Deeper lineup, and it has got some remarkable nice features. Unlike a single-frequency sonar, CHIRP (Compressed High Intensity Radiated Pulse) is a form of sonar that pings out a range of frequencies continuously, this results in better target separation and subsequently better clarity. CHIRP is a regular feature in mid-range to high-end fishfinders, but this feature is now available in a castable fishfinder.
The Deeper CHIRP 2 is a compact and lightweight fishfinder that is very easy to use. It takes only a few seconds to setup the device. First, you need to install on your phone the Fish Deeper app which is available on both Google Playstore and Apple app store, then cast out the sonar on the water. It will automatically turn on, and you will be able to setup the sonar from the app on your phone.
Once you have setup the fishfinder, you will be able to see images of fish and other objects in the water. It’s awesome to note that the Deeper CHIRP 2 doesn’t need internet connectivity to show you images of what’s under the water. It’s equipped with Wifi connectivity that ensures faster transfer of data. It’s also great to note the stability in connection even when you have cast out far and wide.
With a target separation of 0.4 inch, the CHIRP 2 offers three sonar modes; a 100kHz frequency with a wide beamangle of 47°, a 240kHz frequency with 20° beamangle and a high 675kHz frequency with a very narrow 7° beamangle. So you can use the wide beamangle to scan a wide area, then use the high 675kHz frequency to narrow in on your target. It has a casting range of 394ft and a scanning depth of 330ft.
The CHIRP 2 has an inbuilt GPS that lets it generate a bathymetric map as you fish, this map can help you understand the topography of the sea bed. You can also download free offline maps from the Fish Deeper app which can also help you plan better.
The CHIRP 2 comes with a rechargeable 1300mAh battery that offers up to 15hrs of battery life when fully charged. The device can be charged with a micro-USB cable, and it’s required that you charge the sonar once in 6 months even when not in use to prevent the battery from getting damaged.
- Very compact and sturdily built.
- Offers CHIRP for better clarity, choose from differenet frequencies.
- Stable connectivity even at over 100ft.
- Long battery life plus fast charging.
2. Deeper Pro Plus 2
The Deeper Pro+ 2 is one of the best castable fishfinders on the market. It is very compact, lightweight, and the most advanced fishfinder in the Deeper Pro series. It also has a high-end transducer that offers you three beam frequencies to choose from. When compared to the Garmin striker cast, the Deeper Pro+ 2 has a longer casting range of 330ft as well as a maximum depth penetrating range of up to 330ft.
Just like other castable fishfinders, Deeper Pro+ 2 works with the Fish Deeper app. It has Wi-Fi that allows it to transfer data to the app which will allow you to view images of fishes and other objects in the water. At 0.4-inch target separation, the sonar offers great detail in image clarity. You can choose from a wide beamscope of 47° at 100kHz, 20° at 240kHz or a higher 675kHz with a smaller 7° beamscope. The wider beam allows you to scan a wider area and it has the highest depth penetration, while the smallest beamscope will allow you to scan a small area with great precision, but it has the least depth penetration.
The Deeper Pro+ 2 scans up to 15 times per second allowing for better image quality and faster returns. It’s also durably built with ABS and titanium materials.
There is an inbuilt GPS in the Deeper Pro+ 2, this allows it to generate a bathymetry map of the water as you fish. This map can help identify shallow and deeper parts of the water so that you can plan and fish more effectively. It will also show the water temperature.
The Deeper Pro+ 2 is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. It’s great for kayak as well as bigger boat owners, and it can be used for ice fishing. Just like the CHIRP 2 mentioned above, the setup process is easy and takes less than 5 minutes to complete the setup process.
To setup the Deeper Pro+ 2, you first charge the device using the USB charger that comes with it. Next, install the Fish Deeper app on your phone, then cast the Deeper Pro+ 2 in the water, it will automatically turn, search for the fishfinder from the app and complete the pairing process. Instead of Bluetooth, the Deeper Pro+ 2 is equipped with Wifi which offers faster transfer of data, and the stability in connection according to users is top notch even when cast out far and wide.
Deeper Pro+ 2 is powered by a 950mAh replaceable battery which offers a battery life of up to 9hrs, and it takes less than an hour to fully charge the device. It’s recommended you charge the Deeper Pro+ 2 once every 6 months when it’s not in use to prevent the battery from getting damaged.
- Durably built, very compact and lightweight.
- Up to 9hrs battery life.
- Awesome stability in connections.
- Remarkable clarity in target returns.
- Great for lakes and larger bodies of open water.
- Not the best for shallow water less than 15ft deep.
- You need a stout rod to cast this as it’s quite heavy.
3. Garmin Striker Cast
One of the best castable fishfinders we reviewed is the Garmin Striker Cast. Beyond the brand name, there are many reasons to like this fishfinder. Just like other castable fishfinders mentioned above, the Striker Cast is very lightweight and compact, it’s also very durable. Although, it has only one anchor point which isn’t so great considering that if this anchor breaks, there will be no way to attach this to your line. Nevertheless, it’s a durable and solid device. The Striker Cast is best suitable for shallow water, it works well in both freshwater and saltwater. You can use this on a lake, shore, or pond.
The Striker Cast app is the companion app for the Striker Cast sonar. The app is available on both the Apple apps store and Google Playstore, and it’s compatible with Android and iOS devices. The setup process is very easy, first, you need to install the app, then pair it with the Striker Cast while on the water and you are good to go. The app has a neat interface as well as some very interesting features.
The Striker Cast has a casting range of 200ft and it connects to your phone via Bluetooth. From my findings, it maintained a stable connection even when 80ft+ away from the phone. Although, it does disconnect once in a while and always reconnected almost immediately.
The Striker Cast has a dual-frequency sonar that pings a single frequency of 260kHz or 455kHz. It has a maximum scanning depth of 150ft and a casting range of 200ft. You can also troll the Striker Cast from your boat at a slow speed of 5mph to get the best result. The Striker Cast surpassed my expectations as it showed fish and structures in the water very clearly. You can always use the fish icon feature in the app to show fish as icons which is easier to read.
There is an inbuilt GPS in the Striker Cast that will allow you to generate a 1° contour map of the water as you fish. This map is strictly a user-generated map that can serve as a reference point, you can create waypoints, mark your favorite spots, and more. You can also share your map or download maps created by other users in the Garmin Quickdraw community.
The Striker Cast can also show the temperature of the water and it does a great job in showing water depth. To get accurate readings, troll or cast in water over 3ft deep.
One of the best features of the Striker Cast is it’s up to 10hrs long battery life that lets you go long from a single charge. It comes with a rechargeable battery and a USB charger for charging it. It takes about 2hrs to fully charge the device and you can expect to get up to 8hrs or more.
The Striker Cast is designed to automatically power on when in the water and turn off when out of the water. This saves battery life and will allow you to get the most out of the battery.
From all indications, the Striker Cast is a good fishfinder you should checkout except that it’s not the best choice for ice fishing.
- Very compact and lightweight design.
- Very easy to setup and use.
- Maintains stable connection.
- 1° contour maps can serve as reference points.
- 8hrs or more battery life.
- App has a neat interface, interesting features and is easy to use.
- Gives accurate temperature and depth readings especially in deepwater.
- Shows an accurate reading of where the fish are biting.
- Not ideal for ice fishing.
- Takes 2 hrs to fully charge.
- There is only one anchor point on the sonar, more anchor points would have been better.
4. iBobber Castable Fishfinder – A very cheap fishfinder, yet decent features
The iBobber fishfinder is the cheapest on this list, yet it’s a good choice if you’re looking for a fishfinder that can give you accurate readings of water temperature and depth. It’s not very accurate in locating fish but can give you a rough estimate of where the fish are biting
The iBobber fishfinder works with the iBobber app which is available on both the Apple apps store and Google Playstore. The app is compatible with both Android 4.3+ and iOS 10.0 plus. The app has a very neat interface that’s easy to use even for a beginner, and it also has a handful of interesting features that lets you get the best from the sonar. The app pairs with iBobber fishfinder via Bluetooth for effortless connectivity, and the stability in connection is quite commendable. The setup process is very simple, it takes less than 10 minutes to get things done, and it’s also very easy to use.
One of the good things I love about this fishfinder is the very compact and lightweight design. You wouldn’t have any problem tagging this along in that small boat. Moreover, it’s somewhat durable to the best of my knowledge.
The iBobber fishfinder scans at 118kHz single beam with a 90° beamscope. It has a maximum scanning depth of 135ft and a 100ft maximum casting range. From my findings, iBobber doesn’t work well when placed in a very shallow water of fewer than 7ft. It also disconnects when 40ft away from your phone but tends to reconnect almost immediately.
There is an inbuilt GPS in the iBobber fishfinder that lets you scan and generate a bathymetric map of bottom structures so that you can easily identify the deepest and fish-holding spots. You can mark your favorite spots on the map as well as log your trip. The sonar will also show you the water temperature and depth.
The iBobber sonar comes with a rechargeable battery that takes about 2hrs to fully charge. It also comes with a USB cable that lets you charge the device. The device is designed to automatically turn on when it’s cast in the water. The battery life of iBobber isn’t something I’m proud of, from my findings, you can expect to get about 6hrs of battery life with GPS enabled.
- Compact and very lightweight design.
- It’s very easy to setup. Takes less than 10 minutes to setup.
- It’s also very easy and simple to use for beginners.
- It’s one of the cheapest castable fishfinders.
- Not a good choice for ice fishing.
- Doesn’t work well in very shallow water.
- Disconnects when 40ft away from the phone.
- Battery life isn’t so great.
- Not the best experience when trolled from a boat. Even when trolled at a low speed. Works best when cast.
In conclusion, castable fishfinders might not have all the features you will find in higher-end fishfinders/chartplotters combo, but they are here to stay and are no doubt the fishfinder of choice for small boat owners, beginners and anglers on low budget. Castable fishfinders are generally more compact and cheaper while still offering a decent share of features that can improve your chances of landing more fish. After a thorough research, the castable fishfinders mentioned in this article are no doubt the very best you will find on the market.